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    Trans-Korea Gas Pipeline Project With Russia May Be Revived - Seoul

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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - The normalization of the North Korean crisis may pave the way for resuming the project involving the construction of a gas pipeline that would connect Russia and the two Koreas, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Friday.

    "Should the security situation on the Korean Peninsula improve, we will be able to review the PNG [pipeline natural gas] business involving the two Koreas and Russia," Kang said at a regional energy cooperation forum, as quoted by the Yonhap News Agency.

    The participation of Pyongyang in a dialogue on regional energy cooperation would, in turn, serve as a “catalyst” for the further de-escalation of geopolitical tensions on the peninsula, the minister suggested.

    According to Kang, Northeast Asian countries account for a third of global energy consumption, but effective regional cooperation in this area has so far been hampered due to various factors, including the North Korean crisis.

    The idea of building a gas pipeline that would run from Russia to South Korea through North Korea — along with the plan to link the railways on the Korean Peninsula with the Russian railway network — was first considered more than 10 years ago but has been constantly delayed due to the discord between the two Koreas.

    The situation on the peninsula got significantly better before the Winter Olympics, held in South Korea’s Pyeongchang last month, with North Korean athletes participating in the Games.

    In early March, a high-ranking South Korean delegation visited North Korea for talks with the country's leader Kim Jong Un. After the delegation's return, the South Korean presidential office announced that Seoul and Pyongyang had reached a historic agreement on holding the third ever summit of the countries’ leaders.

    South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader have agreed to hold a summit on April 27, ahead of an expected meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim in late May.

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    Tags:
    gas pipeline, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea, Russia
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